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SORA works to land Caltrans transportation planning grant

Staff reports

Siskiyou Outdoor Recreation Alliance is partnering with the Siskiyou County Transportation Commission on a Caltrans Cycle 5 Active Transportation Planning Grant proposal to fund a regional bicycle and pedestrian plan.

Asil Donna of AquaTerra Consulting, LLC, a local consultant specializing in project management and grant writing, is assisting SORA and the transportation commission with writing the grant proposal, according to a SORA press release.

Bicyclists enjoy Siskiyou County scenery.

The purpose of the project is to develop a regional plan that will connect rural communities and bridge the health and economic disparities in the region by linking residents to critical amenities such as social services, healthcare, schools, and employment centers, the release explains.

The implementation of the plan will also improve health outcomes by making cycling and walking safe, inviting, and accessible to all residents and visitors in the region, according to the release. “We believe our region has an exciting opportunity to collectively plan and ultimately develop active transportation infrastructure that will provide equitable access to safe, convenient cycling and walking for everyday transportation,” said Justi Hansen, Executive Director of the Siskiyou Outdoor Recreation Alliance.

If funded, the project will include a comprehensive community outreach and public input process that will bring together a broad base of stakeholders including local governments, social/healthcare service agencies, school districts, tribes, business owners, and private residents to brainstorm and share ideas throughout the planning process, which will result in a plan that meets the specific needs of each community within the region, according to the release.

The project will include incorporated communities, as well as the unincorporated areas throughout the Siskiyou region. If a municipality has an existing plan or a project concept, it can be included in the regional plan. “Projects included in a region wide plan are more competitive,” said Asil Dona of AquaTerra Consulting.

“Funding programs prioritize projects that tie into a bigger picture regional plan.” “We know that well-designed active transportation infrastructure improves community health by making biking and walking safe, inviting, and accessible to all residents regardless of age, physical ability, and socioeconomic status”, said Jeff Schwein, Executive Director of the Siskiyou County Transportation Commission.

“It allows people to save money on transportation and results in more vibrant, connected rural communities that attract visitors who contribute to local economies.” The application deadline is Sept. 15.

For more information about the project, contact SORA at info@siskiyououtdooralliance.org/. or visit their website, https://siskiyououtdooralliance.org/.